Pittsburgh Penguins (8-6-2, 18 pts) at Buffalo Sabres (15-2-1, 31 pts)
Time for the hurting to begin.
Tonight, the Pens play the Buffalo Sabres, who are the #1 team in the NHL with 31 points. The only silver lining to this right off of the bat is that the Sabres are only 5-2-1 at home (as opposed to 10-0-0 on the road). Unfortunately, they just lost at home to Ottawa, so they're likely to be angry.
The Sabres are the #1 team in goal scoring (by far) this season, with 82 goals in just 18 games. With the way the Penguins allow shots, it could get ugly. The Pens are also likely to play Jocelyn Thibault in goal. The Sabres, feeling charitable, are going to start Martin Biron - he of the .886 save percentage. The Pens need lots of shots tonight!
On special teams, the Sabres are just about even with the Pens - their power play is maybe a little better, while their PK is a little worse. The only difference is that they get more PP chances while taking far fewer penalties. The Pens can't afford to spend the evening in the penalty box.
If the Pens play a tight road game, skate well, and stay out of the box, they have a chance for this to be a close one. If they come unraveled on any of those aforementioned items, the Sabres will lower the boom.
I'm hoping for at least a point out of the game (if not two), and the first goal from Colby Armstrong!!
Let's Go Pens!